Introduction to Holography (Hardback) book cover

Introduction to Holography

By Vincent Toal

© 2011 – CRC Press

502 pages | 303 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781439818688
pub: 2011-09-28
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Over the course of its 60-year history, holography has enabled new insights into the nature of light and has contributed to innovative applications, including many unrelated to optics. Introduction to Holography explains how to use holographic techniques to solve specific problems in a variety of fields. The text focuses on the state of development of existing and emerging holographic applications. Numerical problems are provided at the end of each chapter.

After a review of essential optics, the book presents basic holographic principles. It introduces the theory of thick holograms, along with a less demanding and more insightful path to important results based on the work of Jacques Ludman. Examining the use of holography in practice, the author then describes the conditions for successful holography in the laboratory, including various lasers commonly used for holography. He also discusses recording materials and their key holographic characteristics. The final portion of the book deals with applications of holography, including imaging, holographic interferometry, holographic optical elements, and data storage. The text also explores digital and computer-generated holography, light-in-flight and first-arriving light techniques and their applications, polarization holography, and holography for sensing applications.

Since its invention in 1948, holography has evolved into a mature technology with a wide range of applications. This practical guide to the field offers a comprehensive survey of contemporary holographic techniques and applications.


"This volume reviews a wide range of holographic applications … The book is well-structured, with references and practice mathematical problems at the end of each chapter."

—Darko Vasiljevic, Optics & Photonics News (OPN), 2013

"… the execution of part 4, my favorite, is rather novel. It goes beyond discussions in existing textbooks by focusing on state-of-the-art developments of both classical and more advanced holographic applications. … the author has found a good compromise between traditional and emerging ones. … the author clearly and carefully explains the physics behind the mathematics and offers sophisticated guidance for experimental work. Problems and references for further reading are provided at the end of each chapter. Toal has written a welcome reference for experienced explorers of the holographic wonderland. … Toal’s clear presentation provides a starting point for students and other newcomers and might help orient them toward research that will uncover new explanations."

—Wolfgang Osten, Physics Today, January 2013

"This book provides an up-to-date account of holography, covering both theory and applications. Numerical problems are given at the end of each chapter to allow the readers to test their understanding of the material presented and in some cases, to supplement the material in the main text. It will undoubtedly be of use to the researcher in holography and to advanced students of the topic."

—Catherine M. Wykes, Contemporary Physics, July 2012

"The breadth of coverage of this book is remarkable, ranging from the underlying physics, to mathematical descriptions and derivations, to the experimental aspects of the art of holography."

—Joseph W. Goodman, Stanford University

"The structure and approach of the book are excellent. It goes from basic and general concepts in optics to specific devices, systems and examples. The presentation is very clear and easy to understand. Each topic is accompanied with proper figures and is explained very well. The mathematics is at a level appropriate for students in physics or engineering. … a great inspiration for any researcher in the area of signal processing."

—Joseph Rosen, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

"In addition to covering the standard formalism of conventional and digital holography, Introduction to Holography presents such up-and-coming techniques as holographic optical trapping and holographic video microscopy … a timely book and a very good introduction to the present state of the discipline."

—David G. Grier, New York University

"This is a complete treatise on holography, covering the background optics, the basic principles, the practice and many applications of holograms. With its extensive references to the original literature and homework problems, it is the perfect textbook for a course on holography. I thoroughly recommend it to both students and experienced practitioners of the subject."

—Chris Dainty, National University of Ireland, Galway

"Vincent Toal provides a detailed technical overview of holography that should be regarded as essential reading for those involved with photonics, a primary reference worth purchasing."

—Martin Richardson, DeMontfort University, Leicester

"Introduction to Holography is a lucid introductory textbook for students and a valuable reference text for specialists. The author provides easy-to-follow derivations of the mathematical foundations of holography, while giving practical advice on how to implement holography for a wide variety of applications."

—David Nolte, Purdue University

Table of Contents


Light, Waves, and Rays


Description of light waves

Spatial frequency

The equation of a plane wave

Nonplanar wavefronts

Geometrical optics

Reflection, refraction, and the Fresnel equations

Introduction to spatial filtering

Physical Optics



Diffraction and spatial Fourier transformation

Phase effect of a thin lens

Fourier transformation by a lens

Fourier transform property of a lens—a physical argument

Interference by division of amplitude


Polarized light


Introducing Holography

Introduction: difference between two spatial frequencies

Recording and reconstruction of a simple diffraction grating

Generalized recording and reconstruction

A short history of holography

Simple theory of holography

Phase conjugacy

Phase holograms

Volume Holography


Volume holography and coupled-wave theory

Characteristics of thick holographic gratings

Rigorous coupled-wave theory

A simpler approach


Requirements for Holography



The Michelson interferometer


The Fabry–Perot interferometer, etalon, and cavity

Stimulated emission and the optical amplifier

Laser systems

Q-switched lasers

Frequency doubled lasers

Mode locking of lasers

Spatial coherence of lasers

Laser safety

Mechanical stability

Thermal stability

Checking for stability

Resolution of the recording material

Recording Materials


Silver halide

Dichromated gelatin (DCG)



Self-processing materials

Holographic sensitivity

Recording Materials in Practice


Nonlinear effects

Grain noise

The speckle effect

Signal-to-noise ratio in holography

Experimental evaluation of holographic characteristics

Effects arising from dissimilarities between reference beams in recording and reconstruction


Holographic Displays


Single-beam holographic display

Split-beam holographic displays

Benton holograms

White light (Denisyuk) holograms

Wide field holography

Color holograms

Dynamic holographic displays

Very large format holographic displays

Quantum entanglement holography—imaging the inaccessible

Good practice in hologram recording

Other Imaging Applications


Holographic imaging of three-dimensional spaces

Further applications of phase conjugation

Multiple imaging

Total internal reflection and evanescent wave holography

Evanescent waves in diffracted light

Mass copying of holograms

Holographic Interferometry


Basic principle

Phase change due to object displacement

Fringe localization

Live fringe holographic interferometry

Frozen fringe holographic interferometry

Compensation for rigid body motion accompanying loading

Double pulse holographic interferometry

Holographic interferometry of vibrating objects

Stroboscopic methods

Holographic surface profilometry

Phase conjugate holographic interferometry

Fringe analysis

Speckle pattern interferometry

Holographic Optical Elements


Diffraction gratings

Spectral filters


Beam splitters and beam combiners


Lighting control and solar concentrators

Multiplexing and demultiplexing

Optical interconnects

Holographic projection screens

Photonic bandgap devices

Holographic polymer-dispersed liquid crystal devices

Holographic Data Storage and Information Processing


Holographic data storage capacity

Bit format and page format

Storage media


Phase-coded data

Error avoidance

Exposure scheduling

Data and image processing

Optical logic

Holographic optical neural networks

Quantum holographic data storage

Digital Holography


Spatial frequency bandwidth and sampling requirements

Recording and numerical reconstruction

Suppression of the zero-order and the twin image

Improving the resolution in digital holography

Digital holographic microscopy

Other applications of digital holography

Computer-Generated Holograms


Methods of representation

Three-dimensional objects

Optical testing

Optical traps and computer-generated holographic optical tweezers

Holography and the Behavior of Light


Theory of light-in-flight holography

Reflection and other phenomena

Extending the record

Applications of light-in-flight holography

Polarization Holography


Description of polarized light

Jones vectors and matrix notation

Stokes parameters

Photoinduced anisotropy

Transmission polarization holography

Reflection polarization holographic gratings

Photoanisotropic recording materials for polarization holography

Applications of polarization holography

Holographics Sensors and Indicators


Basic principles


Practical sensors and indicators

Sensors based on silver halide and related materials

Photopolymer-based holographic sensors and indicators

Sensing by hologram formation

Appendix A: The Fresnel–Kirchoff Integral

Appendix B: The Convolution Theorem

A Summary, References, and Problems appear at the end of each chapter.

About the Author

Vincent Toal is director of the Center for Industrial and Engineering Optics at the Dublin Institute of Technology. A fellow of the Institute of Physics, Dr. Toal has taught optics for over 20 years. He earned a Ph.D. in electronic engineering from the University of Surrey.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Microscopes & Microscopy
SCIENCE / Optics